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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

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Zombieland: Students swarm campus for week of Spartans vs. Zombies


International relations freshman Evan Wilkins, left, directs environmental geoscience and comparative culture and politics freshman Ian Hoopingarner to where he thinks he sees a zombie April 8, 2013 outside of IM Sports-Circle. Spartans Vs. Zombies lasts until 11 p.m. Saturday, or when the final mission is completed.

Supply chain management junior Evan Spreng’s head popped out of the thick brush as his eyes scanned the horizon. Camouflaged among the pine shrubs, hiding was a matter of life or death.

“Avoid the infection,” was his silent thought as Spreng waited to ambush a zombie in the fourth-major game of Spartans vs. Zombies, which started Monday and ends at 11 p.m. Saturday.

“I’ve never had anything on campus give me this much of a sense of camaraderie,” Spreng said. “People that I’ve just met five minutes ago are my best friends now because we’re fighting together to stay alive.”

Communication senior John Parkinson, who has participated in each Spartans vs. Zombies game since it started in fall 2010, said he has seen the number of participants rise each year.

“The very first game was passed around by word of mouth,” Parkinson said. “Three hundred or so were registered on the website, but only 150 or so came out and played.”

By Katie Stiefel / The State News
Nerf bullets are packed within a tool box for humans to "stun" zombies with during a mission April 9, 2013. About 800 students participated in Spartans Vs. Zombies this year.
By Katie Stiefel / The State News
Supply chain management junior Evan Spreng hides behind the bushes to keep a lookout for zombies April 10, 2013 outside of Hubbard Hall. Spreng did not become "infected" by any zombies during the mission.
By Katie Stiefel / The State News
The "horde" of zombies chases after a group of humans April 10, 2013, on Shaw Lane. The first major game of Spartans Vs. Zombies was played in the fall of 2010.
By Katie Stiefel / The State News
Electrical engineering sophomore Nick Takala keeps his Nerf blasters at the ready April 10, 2013 while walking down Farm Lane. This is the fourth-major game of Spartans Vs. Zombies that has been played on campus.

For the past week, almost 800 students participated in the event. The orange or yellow bandanas around students’ arms represent a “human” that has not yet been infected by a “zombie,” who wear bandanas around their heads. On the first day of the game, a handful of zombies are selected to “bite” as many humans as they can by tagging them. The goal is to build a horde of zombies.

It’s a tough game, but mathematics freshman Sarah Garcia said she was up for the challenge.

“There’s definitely more guys, but I don’t feel intimidated at all,” Garcia said. “It doesn’t feel like there’s any separation between boys and girls because we’re all having a good time.”

For humans to fend off zombies, they use Nerf guns to “stun” them. The purpose of the game is to either have all humans turned into zombies or to have all zombies starve by not biting a human in at least 48 hours.

“For the week, you don’t just have to go to class, but survive while getting to class,” Parkinson said.

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